Buddhism

  • Trying Not to Itch Paid Member

    Three days into a weeklong Vipassana retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, just north of San Francisco, California, I notice myself itching, unbearably. I’m not the only person distracted by the desire to scratch. Someone else leaves a handwritten note on the staff bulletin board confessing discomfort. The senior teacher responds by devoting an entire dharma session to “the itch,” the gist of which amounts to the following: observe the body’s suffering and let it go. The aching knee, the tickle in the back of the throat—just sensory experiences. Name, but refrain from scratching at all costs. More »
  • Joshu's Dog Paid Member

    A monk asked Joshu, "Does a dog have buddhanature or not?" Joshu replied, "Mu." Commentary: Dog in the backyard, lifetimes upon lifetimes spent shuttling between the bright sun of the deck and the smelly shade of the propane tank. But there is no door into the cool of the restful kitchen, and no one need open it. Upon realizing this, a dog passes naturally through the Gateless Gate.John House is a Tricycle contributing editor. More »
  • Mindfulness at Moonshine Hollow Paid Member

    The locals call it Moonshine Hollow, or Mooner's Hollow, partly because of the haunting character of the moonlight in this small, isolated valley. It forces you to pay attention to the thousand shades of shadow and light you'd never thought to distinguish before. The phenomenon has something to do with the curvature of the ravine here, as light reflects off stone cliffs above and the lithe, white limbs of sycamore trees below. Whatever accounts for it, Moonshine Hollow is well named. More »
  • Buddhist Global Relief and Grow Biointensive Agriculture of Kenya Paid Member

    May I be a good doctor for those who suffer from illness,a guide for those who have gone astray,a lamp for those who dwell in darkness,a source of treasure for those in poverty and need.-Vows of Samantabhadra, Avatamsaka Sutra More »
  • Relationships as a Vehicle for Inner Awakening Paid Member

    If you think about your own experience with relationships you may notice that relationships are often more a source of difficulty than they are a source of love. If you think about this, it's not just relationships with our mates that I'm talking about. We have difficulties with our parents, with our children, our bosses and co-workers, and we even have difficulties with our friends. What's interesting is that, considering the amount of suffering that comes out of relationships, the Buddha did not add relationships to his short list of sickness, old age, and death, as the primary causes of suffering. But there is one things that's certain that we can all verify this for ourselves, relationships will often push us right to the edge of where we are personally stuck. More »